George Napier (1784–1855) was a brother of the famous soldiers Sir Charles and Sir William Napier, and himself had a distinguished career in the British Army as general and Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. He wrote these memoirs to guide and amuse his own children, not intending them to be widely circulated. In 1884, however, his son published them, earning a letter of congratulation from Queen Victoria. George Napier tells of his early army life, which took him around Europe from Sicily to Sweden to Bordeaux, and writes of his admiration for the Duke of Wellington, hailing him as 'one of the greatest captains that ever lived'. Napier's reflections on the responsibilities of an army officer (including the duty to obey and not to criticise), and his advice on how a regiment should be commanded, raise this work above a conventional autobiography.
Table of Contents
Preface; 1. Choice of a profession; 2. Expedition to Sweden; 3. The Peninsular War; 4. Advance from the Lines of Torres Vedras; 5. Promotion; 6. Marriage; 7. Appointed to the command of the 71st Light Infantry; 8. Concluding extract; Appendix.